Jimmy, The Glue Factory and Mad Mr Viscous

Mad Mr Viscous, the owner of a glue factory, is hell-bent on making his fortune from selling glue made from his secret ingredient - horse. Determined to stop him, Jimmy, and his best friend Eric, set off on a fantastic adventure; discovering a world of witches, warlocks and animalistics that up until then they had no idea even existed.

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2. Retribution

Next day, Jimmy and Eric returned to the coalmine, close to the base of the slagheap from which the guard had chased them from the previous morning. Jimmy, true to his word, retrieved his bucket…
Skirting furtively behind the guards’ hut, Jimmy spied their two buckets, nestled amongst a huge pile of so many others. ‘Had they no idea,’ Jimmy thought, ‘what they were depriving the poor, unfortunate people of? Heat, that’s what!’ Thinking about this, Jimmy became angry, so angry.
Grabbing hold of Eric’s bucket from the top of the pile, and then handing it to him, Jimmy whispered, “Listen, Eric.” Furtively peering through the grimy, frost-coated window of the guards’ hut, he said, “I have an idea how we can teach these two,” he pointed to the guards inside, ensconced in front of a potbelly stove, drinking cups of piping hot tea, “a good lesson.”
Frowning, Eric whispered, “Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” Jimmy nodded a yes. Unconvinced, Eric added, “It could get nasty – even dangerous!”
“With a mischievous grin, Jimmy replied, “Danger is my middle name.” With that, the he tapped three times on the windowpane.
“What on earth are you doing?” Eric bellowed, running around like a headless chicken, panicking.
Still grinning, Jimmy said, “Watch and find out…”
Eric watched all right, from behind the corner of the hut around which he beat a hasty retreat. Crouching low beneath the window, Jimmy listened.
A man’s face appearing in the window, tried to see through the grimy, frost coated glass. Having no wish to end his tea beak so abruptly, seeing no one, he returned to his comfortable seat in front of the stove.
“What was it, Joe?” the second man asked.
“Dunno,” he replied, “Couldn’t see a thing, Fred.”
“Bats,” said Fred, with a sniff of his nose, “They’re all over the place, out there. Smelly beggars, I tell you, the whole lot of them…”
“Hmm, could be,” said Joe, retrieving his cup from the top of the stove, taking another gulp of tea. “Ah, that’s better.”
The matter of the tapping having been resolved, the men settled down, enjoying their tea and the warmth of the stove.
Feeling braver, Eric crept out from behind the corner. “What was all the about?” he asked.
“To allay their fears.”
“To allay their fears?” he asked, exasperated, thinking his friend had lost some marbles.
“Yes, of course,” Jimmy replied. “If they happen to hear any other little noises, they will think it’s just more bats. That will open a window of opportunity for us…”
“It will?”
Jimmy nodded a yes.
“Are you sure it will be safe up there?” Eric asked, giving Jimmy a hitch up the side of the hut, onto its roof. “It looks awfully slippery!”
“Shush!” he replied. “Now hand me that bucket.”
Eric passed him the bucket.  It was not either of theirs, but another, smaller one that Jimmy had decided was perfect for the job in hand. Offering its handle to his awaiting, open mouth, Jimmy held it tightly between his chattering teeth. The metal was incredibly cold.  Shimmying his way up the wooden shingled roof, Jimmy advanced inch by inch towards to his objective – the chimneypot.  All of a sudden, one of the shingles broke loose, sliding noisily down the frosty incline. Jimmy froze with fright. Eric darted around the corner. The renegade shingle’s downward decent suddenly stopped – caught, captured by the gutter.
“Did you hear that?” said Joe, staring up at the ceiling.
“Yeh, more bats I’d hazard a guess,” Fred replied. “Put some more coal in the stove. Make plenty of smoke, that’ll sort out the smelly beggars.”
Returning to his previous position, Eric whispered to his accomplice, “Phew! That was close!”
Offering no reply, Jimmy continued his perilous ascent, where, thankfully, no more shingles broke loose.
Sitting, straddled across the roof apex, Jimmy shuffled the last few inches towards the chimneystack. When he reached it, his objective, holding onto it for dear life, he stood up and inspected the chimney pot. It was smoky up there, incredibly smoky, the extra coal doing its job wonderfully. Jimmy began coughing.
“Don’t cough, Jim,” Eric whispered, fearing for him. 
Holding his breath, trying to avoid inhaling the acrid black smoke, Jimmy relaxed his jaw, offering the bucket to his free hand. Placing it promptly inside the chimney pot, he smiled. It was a perfect fit, an airtight fit, a smoke-tight fit. He breathed again.
Seeing this, Eric called up, (and it was a bit more than a whisper this time), “Come on, let us be away from here!”
His attention distracted, Jimmy, losing his balance, slid down the frost-covered roof.
Seeing this, Eric almost fainted with fright.
The gutter; at the very last second Jimmy caught hold of the gutter, saving him from a nasty fall on the hard, frozen ground. With a swing and a twist of his body, he let go of the gutter, jumping the last few feet and toughing down safely of dear mother earth.
“Don’t ever do anything like that again!” Eric chided. “I almost died with fright!”
“Did you hear that?” Joe asked, looking towards the ceiling.
“I already told you,” Fred tersely replied, annoyed with the string of interruptions to his beloved tea break, “it’s those bats.” Then he added, “Put some more coal in the stove, sort them out once and for all!”
Squatting in front of the stove, Joe fiddled with its door, but it remained stubbornly shut. “It’s stuck,” he complained. “I can’t open it!”
“Do I have to do everything myself?” Fred bemoaned, striding across, pushing him away. It opened; Fred opened the stove’s door all too easily, offering the smoke, which had been accumulating inside, free reign into their hut. It went everywhere. Billowing out from the stove, the thick, acrid smoke filled the hut in a matter of seconds.
“Where are you, Fred?” Joe asked, fumbling about in the smoke-filled room. “I can’t see a thing!”
His eyes streaming tears, Fred shouted, “It’s the end of the world, a volcano must have erupted. Run, Joe, run for your life!” They did; the two men ran out from the smoke filled hut so fast, they never saw either one of the two boys standing outside.
With another mischievous grin, Jimmy said, “There, I told you they’d get their comeuppance! Come on, let’s get some coal…”
 

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